The ever-growing repositories of digital data, sometimes known as Big Data, are potentially highly valued enterprise resource. Content management (CM) is the set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium.

When stored and accessed via computers, this information has come to be referred to, simply, as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text (such as electronic documents), multimedia files (such as audio or video files), or any other file type that follows a content lifecycle requiring management.

Galbraith & Co. considers Knowledge management (KM) to be a sub-set of CM and closely related to Unified Collaboration (UC).

KM is the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organisational knowledge. It refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieving organisational objectives by making the best use of knowledge.

Knowledge management efforts typically focus on organisational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organisation.

KM efforts overlap with organisational learning and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the sharing of knowledge. KM should be seen as an enabler of organisational learning and a more concrete mechanism than the previous abstract research.

Content management practices and goals vary by mission and by organizational governance structure. News organizations, e-commerce websites, and educational institutions all use content management, but in different ways. This leads to differences in terminology and in the names and number of steps in the process.

For example, some digital content is created by one or more authors. Over time, that content may be edited. One or more individuals may provide some editorial oversight, approving the content for publication. Publishing may take many forms: it may be the act of "pushing" content out to others, or simply granting digital access rights to certain content to one or more individuals. Later that content may be superseded by another version of the content and thus retired or removed from use.

Content management is an inherently collaborative process. It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities:

  • Creator, responsible for creating and editing content.
  • Editor, responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
  • Publisher , responsible for releasing the content for use.
  • Administrator, responsible for managing access permissions to folders and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles.
  • Consumer, the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.

A critical aspect of content management is the ability to manage versions of content as it evolves. Authors and editors often need to restore older versions of edited products due to a process failure or an undesirable series of edits.

Another equally important aspect of content management involves the creation, maintenance, and application of review standards. Each member of the content creation and review process has a unique role and set of responsibilities in the development and/or publication of the content. Each review team member requires clear and concise review standards on an ongoing basis to ensure the long-term consistency and health of the knowledge base.

A typical content management system provides a set of automated processes that may include:

  • Import and creation of documents and multimedia material.
  • Identification of all key users and their roles.
  • The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different instances of content categories or types.
  • Definition of workflow tasks often coupled with messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
  • The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
  • The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.

Content management systems may take the following forms:

  • Web content management system is software for web site management - which is often what is implicitly meant by this term.
  • Work of a newspaper editorial staff organization.
  • Workflow for article publication.
  • Document management system.
  • Single source content management system - where content is stored in chunks within a relational database.

Galbraith & Co. has designed and implemented numerous content & knowledge management systems utilising a wide range of tools most appropriate for the particular requirement and budget. In many cases, open source solutions provide powerful platforms on which to build custom content & knowledge management systems that can be readily supported and enhanced at low cost.